For some years, Golkhanban worked not just as a news cameraman but personally recorded visits by the Iranian president and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of top-secret nuclear facilities and Revolutionary Guards installations.Oopsie. A few red faces in Iranian security, I suspect.
When he left Tehran in the president's party, his luggage was not searched and so he was able to bring out two suitcases packed with precious film and deliver it safely into waiting hands in New York.
What I find interesting is the amount of information leaking out about this defection. There's clearly no particular reason to keep the defection itself secret - Iran knows, America knows, and no doubt this is good propaganda to wave at and demoralise the Iranian leadership: "Hey, you know those people you trust absolutely? You probably should not trust them as much." But the detail on what he (allegedly) brought out is interesting:
Among them [the film and photos] are exclusive interior shots of the Natanz nuclear complex, the Fordo underground enrichment plant, the Parchin military complex and the small Amir-Abad research reactor in Tehran.Why is American intelligence telling the Iranians what facilities they know about? Why not leave them paranoid and guessing? Is this a carefully judged leak, or is this someone who knows too much and talks too much blabbing his or her mouth off?